i asked if i needed to do the mastering on my track but nobody replied to me and since on the PLP site it was said that this was not a lowdness competition i didn’t i guess it was a mistake since all the 3 winners have their mastering done……
i know that in term of mixing my track is not the most crisp( and the unmastered version didn’t make things easier in that regard) but i really thought that i did a good remix again i understand that this was mainly a mixing and i guess a mastering contest too, so i get it……however congratulation to the winners and to all the people that express themselves through music
that’s what they said but have you listened to the 3 winners?
for example yours was good too but like theirs the big difference form mine is the mastering part ( btw i am not saying that you did a bad job or that i am a better mixing engineer than you because i am probably not) however i don’t wanna be whining for something that i can’t control so again CONGRATULATION to the winners and to all the people that can’t let go of their passions and dreams even without proper gear or without money to back them up
I just heard your remix and IMO the biggest difference between theirs and yours isn’t mastering, it’s the actual song. And your remix is not bad at all, just that the team happened to prefer the announced top three. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but even if you did master your remix it’s not going to suddenly increase your chances. It’ll sound like a louder and perhaps cleaner version of your remix, but not a different remix.
the point is that i expected not to win but i thought that i would have been blown away by the tracks of the winners and i wasn’t………the choice of the team was perfectly fine because is was based on personal preference and that’s a given in music, in general everyone likes different things ( thank god!) for example to me the best ( my personal taste) track of the winners was the third place one……..but in term of sound design, chord progression, melodies switch up and bridges i don’t think that mine was that far off but again IMO the biggest difference was the mastering, and yes, the mixing, of course, because when you master you most likely going to get a better mix for the simple reason that you have to re-evaluate all of your mixing choices because that head room to fill and all of the instruments to compress is gonna change the perception of the track drastically , now maybe even if i would have been mastered my remix they wouldn’t have liked it regardless and that’s fine but i think i was not in the same level playing field of them tha’s all i was trying to say i was not saying that i objectively think that mine was better cause again its music and the team that judged the contest was formed of human beings which are gonna like something subjectively regardless, as they should in a field that is based off emotions like music
In my very humble opinion if by the time you’re mastering you have to “re-evaluate all of your mixing choices” or do tons of processing your mix isn’t done. Whatever reevaluation of mixing decisions or the tons of processing can and should be done at the mixing stage, they can be done faster and easier too. If you notice you tend to do a lot of compression for DR reduction when mastering for example, you should’ve done that when you were mixing. Compression sounds better split across many compressors, in layers, instead of one or two doing all the work. A loud (as in small DR) song starts with a loud mix, mastering is just the another layer of compression before bringing it up to 0 dbfs. Which is why I said mastering wouldn’t have made much difference earlier, if done this way the only difference would’ve just been slightly bigger DR and lower overall volume, which by turning up the volume knob would’ve fixed.
I do suggest that you always master your mixes though, regardless of who you’re sending them to (except the mastering engineer obviously). Because even if the other guy’s an audio engineer or has some AE knowledge, you never know what he’s going to do to your mix to bring up the volume. Maybe he’s just going to turn it up, great. But what if he decided he’ll help you out with “some” limiting and end up crushing it beyond recognition? Especially to clients though, if you take on mixing projects, since most don’t understand the concept of level matching, and a lot don’t care. They just want their song to sound good and loud and be able to compete with commercial releases, even if you’re just sending for mix approval.
Didn’t mean to return a wall of text, just thought I might as well share what I know. Maybe those who are more skilled and experienced than I am are willing to chime in.
Phillip Fu. Absolutely. Mastering plugs can be used in the mix process to creatively sculpt dynamics and colour in a way that is difficult to recreate in the mix stage sometimes. As I’m sure we all have done at some point, you start writing a tune and 20% of the way in you pop on a mastering plugin and start cranking it. Sounds great! you leave it on there for the remainder of writing the track. You get to the end and think ooh i’d better master it. You take off your existing master plug and your mix sounds totally different. You realise all the compression and eq on master was gluing everything so well and creating the sound you wanted. If you have to send your track off to a mastering engineer or send stems then it’s gonna get tricky to recreate your sound. Especially with heavy master buss fx. Always give the mastering engineer a copy of your master for reference. If you are mastering yourself for you tube say then it’s not such a problem. Always check yr mix against other commercial tracks. NOT for loudness but for tonality. Most streaming services loudness match now anyway so it’s pointless trying to squeeze every db you can out of a mix because they will just turn your mix down if its too loud/squashed.
If i’m honest i thought the mastering i did on my track was too much and having listened to the unmastered mix in hindsite i actually prefer it!
this discussion is great! and i pretty much agree with everything you guys are saying, unfortunately to do what you guys are suggesting i would need to get a better computer because if i try to do it my cpu would fry, and yes, i tried before….LOL
however this discussion is a great helper for everyone that produce music, so thanks to both of you and i wish that more people like us will eventually be able to shape the future of music
Although i must say. The commercial tracks you hear are nearly all at around -8 to -10 LUFS.
Average RMS -7 to 9dBs. Peaking at 0dBs and sometimes more! All the artists seem to ignore online streaming guidelines for levels. There is still a loudness war! lol